Srinagar: The army is not cooperating in the police investigation of the Budgam “human shield” incident that took place April 9 this year, police told the J&K High Court on Thursday.
Submitting the latest investigation report, the police stated that despite a series of communication sent to Company Commander of 53 Rashtriya Rifles to provide nominal roll of the army personnel involved in the human shield incident, no response has been received from the army unit.
The police report said that the investigation is still on and will be “concluded on merits” after obtaining reports from the District Election Officer Beerwah, from the Company Commander 53 RR, and from the CFSL Chandigarh on the video clip of the incident.
The police report stated that on April 13, 2017, police station Beerwah received reliable information that a video/audio was broadcast on national news channels depicting an individual, namely Farooq Dar of Chill Khan Sahib, Budgam, tied with ropes in front of an army vehicle and being moved in the area under wrongful confinement. The video was shot on April 9, 2017, the day parliamentary by-polls were held in Srinagar constituency
Corroborating the claims of the 26-year-old Farooq Dar, a shawl weaver from Chill village, the investigation report stated that he was on his way home from Gampora village, where he had gone to attend a condolence meeting at a relative’s house, when he was picked up by an army detachment in Utligam village. He was accompanied by his neighbour Hilal Ahmad Magray, a witness in the case.
“Also reports state that Farooq Ahmad Dar had cast his vote at polling booth installed at his native village (and) after casting vote (on April 9) he left, along with Hilal Ahmad Magray, for condolence meeting at Gampora village,” reads the police report.
The report goes on to add that Dar was picked up amidst stone-pelting in the area and treated as a “human shield” by the army, which “kept him under wrongful confinement and paraded/moved him around within the area”.
The police told the High Court that under Section 161 CrPC, statements of 11 witnesses have been recorded and the investigation of the case is still on.